Submerge into Paddington Reservoir Gardens, where you’ll find TOP5FEET, an immersive aquatic artwork by artist Dale Jones-Evans. You’ll be engulfed by an ethereal pool of water through which a swimmer is completing continuous laps, created by light and sound projections.  

TOP5FEET is inspired by the reservoir’s original purpose to provide water to parts of Sydney in the late 1880s. The artwork references the reservoir’s original purpose and emphasises its shortcomings. When the reservoir was in operation, the limited elevation meant only the top five feet of water could be used to service dwellings, hence its title.

“It was one of seven reservoirs and is a chunk of archaeology that is of local significance,” says Jones-Evans. “In a dry land water is essential – so that was the measure of its importance in servicing Sydney’s expanding suburbs, which rose on the hills above the gravitational force of where water naturally flows.”

“It’s an unusual public space for Australia, a kind of catacomb of utility – a once water vessel.  I thought the site had poetic resonance and delight,” he continues.

TOP5FEET has been created in collaboration with Axolotl Art Projects, it is a composition of formed glass, light, sound and animation – filmed at the Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool.

Selected by the City of Sydney, it will launch the new year round Art & About festival, where art is brought to the city outside of the traditional springtime festival dates.

TEAM Artist: Dale Jones-Evans, Project Management & Manufacture: Axolotl Art Projects, Lighting: Big Screen Projects and 32Hundred Lighting, Audio Production: I-C-S-A, Content: Sugarglider Productions, Model: Cassie Egan, Commissioned: City of Sydney.